This is one of those posts I’ve had to pray long and hard about writing, for weeks.
I’ve recently walked through something that has hurt me deeply, and I fear speaking from my pain in anger. But what I have to say needs to be said, and today, I feel that the Lord is finally giving me words for this.
May they be words of grace to my friends here.
I meet people all of the time – online – who have read my blog and already have a pulse on the kind of pain I’ve walked through and how I’ve struggled to find God good in the midst of pain so deep….and in knowing my pain, they feel safe to share their own.
And it’s good. I want my heart to be a safe place for other people’s pain and darkness and sometimes gut-wrenching questions.
Shouldn’t our hearts be that? – hearts safe enough and strong enough to hold the pain of broken hearts too broken to hold their own pain alone – hearts strong enough to help carry that pain to the cross, even when the journey is long?
I have said it before – pain is pain, and whatever broke your heart broke HIS and should break mine too. I’ve found that people are simply more apt to trust that my heart will not run from the darkness they share, because I’ve faced my own darkness head on…and I’ve found God there, waiting. I think they know that their greatest darkness is not going to overwhelm me or make me run away. And I don’t.
Because even though parts of my heart are still broken and wrapped in chains, and I haven’t found answers to all of my questions – I choose to stay on this steep, treacherous path, seeking them out because I know the well is deep enough. There is nothing I could hear that would threaten my view of God to the point I would walk away from someone. I most certainly do not have all of the answers – to my own pain, or to yours – but I have stayed long enough in my own mess to see that He is enough – every time.
What about you?
You read my blog and listen to my perspective on how to fight sex trafficking, how to really pray for survivors, how to speak in a way that honors, and all the other advice I’ve pounded out from my fingers onto these pages…. and you are inspired.
You write about the horrific reality of what is happening to children just like yours around the world, and you speak, and you raise awareness. You tell your friends and you shout from the rooftop that there are voices that must be heard, travesties to be ended.
But If you met me face to face, how would you respond?
Could you sit and listen to the mess – the hopeless, wandering brokenness that spills out ugly from wounds so deep – without it threatening to make your God too small?
Would you be able to just sit and listen to my questions that may not have answers on this earth, feel my pain, and seek God with me to find Him big enough anyways? Would your heart be strong enough to help carry my pain – all of it – up that winding, rocky, treacherous path all the way to the cross.
And if so, for how long?
I can tell you the answer is that you can’t. You would not last long staring the evil that still wraps my heart in chains, in the face, day after day, unless…
…unless you have learned to sit in your own darkness long enough to find Christ’s embrace there – in the dark, ugly…
…unless you have made the harrowing journey up that steep, perilous path to the cross and found Him bigger than your own pain time after time…
…unless you have found the well deep enough to wash your broken mess with living water that cleanses and ushers your heart into the light…
Because I promise that you will be afraid of my dark if you have not stayed long enough in the broken places of your own darkened heart and found Him enough.
In fact, you will eventually walk away from the darkness in others every single time their dark places touch those hidden places inside of you where you haven’t found God to be big enough.
And when you walk away from those who have been abandoned so many times before, your heart will be safer, but theirs will be even more broken than it was before.
At the end of a long day of using your voice to bear witness to my darkness do you realize that it’s your own broken, bleeding heart crying out to be held by the Father that has wearied you much more than your fight for my well-being?
Friend, I am not saying that you have to be perfectly healed to walk with someone through restoration. What I am saying is that the biggest step you can take in the fight against human trafficking is to stop and examine your heart – to take the broken, damaged, darkened parts of your own sin-stained heart and sit long in the mess until You find that there is no darkness on this earth that He cannot overcome.
Until His blood binds those shattered pieces of your own heart together into a heart that is strong enough to hold the heavy burden I carry …and not walk away, even when the answers don’t come and the road is long.